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If ornamental indoor plants are what you are looking for, might we suggest the zamia plant? Adoringly called the ZZ plant, it is known by many other names, and the most common one is the cardboard palm plant. 

Zamia furfuracea is an ancient plant with a highly resilient personality so that you may grow it indoors or outdoors. But despite its standard classification as a palm tree, it is actually a cycad. A cycad is similar to the sago palm plant rather than a palm. This adorable plant isn’t winter resistant, but it makes for a great container or houseplant anywhere. 

Zamia palm plant is an ancient plant, more ancient than humans themselves. Cycads have been around since the dinosaurs. They grow in the form of cones in the middle of the plant. The ZZ palm plant is native to the exotic land of Mexico. Thus, it exhibits tropical characteristics in terms of ideal temperature and humidity.

The Zamia furfuracea, gets its name from its growth habit, which is similar to that of palm trees. The zamia palms have pinnate leaves. A pinnate leaf comprises several tiny leaflets on either side of a stem similar to a lipstick palm’s palm frond. 

The leaflets of the ZZ plant are brilliant green and oval in shape, with a slightly fuzzy texture reminiscent of cardboard. With a thick, partially underground stem, the plant is often shorter than it is wide. It grows slowly and is best planted in the spring. It’s often kept as a houseplant outside of its tropical growing zones. 

Zamia furfuracea is a low-growing plant with a subterranean trunk that can spread 3 to 4 feet. During periods of drought, this trunk collects moisture, making Zamia perfect for xeriscape plantings. 

How to care for a Zamia plant?




The ZZ plant needs just enough moisture to keep the trunk fat and healthy. You should ensure that the zamia plant never gets wrinkled or dry to the point that the trunk and stem are wrinkled or dry.

Hence, the Zamia palm plants demand only a small amount of water. Overwatering, on the other hand, might cause the roots to rot. Water whenever the top inch of soil gets dry from spring through fall. However, cut back on watering by about half of what you did during the growing season throughout the winter.

In the summer, water generously once a week. The massive underground trunk must be filled with stored water. Do not get overly concerned and overwater it, as this might cause the stem or crown to rot. It is nearly impossible to save the crown once fungal spores have invaded it.


Humidity and temperature

The zamia ZZ plants are tough plants. They can withstand heat, but frost and freezing temperatures can harm or kill them. They love temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels ranging from low to average.



Use a slow-release palm fertilizer twice a year to feed your plant. One application should be made in the early spring and the other in the early autumn.



Zamia palms are hardy plants that don’t require a lot of attention. The key to growing them well is to provide them with well-drained soil and give them lots of sunlight, especially during the growing season (spring to fall) and when the plant is young. Aside from that, you’ll need to water your cardboard palm whenever the soil dries out and feed it twice a year.

ZZ palm plants thrive in full sun, which means at least six hours of direct sunlight most days. Indoors, set your plant near the brightest window and rotate the container on a regular basis to ensure that all regions of the plant receive an equal quantity of light. Otherwise, the ZZ palm will become asymmetrical. When growing a ZZ plant, maintenance is generally minimal. Zamia furfuracea thrives in light conditions ranging from mild to bright. 




As long as there is sufficient drainage, the zamia palm plants may survive a wide range of soil types. The optimum soil for this gorgeous plant is loose, sandy soil with a slightly acidic pH. The cardboard palms in containers will also thrive in cactus and palm potting soil. It grows slowly and does well in good potting soil as long as the container has proper drainage.


Common Pests and Diseases

The plant is susceptible to several pests, such as spider mites. Still, its main issue is rot. Both need pruning dead leaves as they appear and fertilizing with slow-release palm food or diluted household plant food.

Pests and diseases do not pose a significant threat to the zz plants. Overwatering and allowing water to pool on the plant’s foliage, on the other hand, can lead to fungal illnesses. As a result, only water the soil around the plant’s base. Although regular trimming is not required, you can remove dead, diseased, or damaged leaves as they appear.


Propagating Zamia Palm

The propagation of zamia palm plants via seed is mostly inconsistent. However, the ZZ plants are available in both male and female varieties. 

The male Zamia palm plant has a huge cone that protrudes from the plant’s center, whilst the female cone is smaller and flatter. 

When female ZZ plants are pollinated, they may yield a large number of brilliant red seeds. These seeds should be germinated indoors in damp sand. The temperature range for germination is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Still, growing zamia palms from seed is a tricky affair. Seeds should be sown as soon as possible because they are not viable for long.

The seedling will not resemble the adult plant after it has sprouted. Moderate light is required for young cardboard palm’s care until the second set of genuine leaves appears. Keep the sand moist and transplant when the root base is strong.



Growing ZZ plant from seed is particularly difficult, so getting a nursery plant to pot is best. Choose a strong pot with plenty of drainage holes that are somewhat larger than your plant’s root ball, and plant the cardboard palm in high-quality potting soil.

Because the ZZ plant dislikes having its roots disturbed, repot it only when the roots have outgrown the container and are sticking out of it. This will happen every two to three years until the plant reaches its full size. Choose a pot size larger, gently remove the cardboard palm from its old container, and replant it in the new one with the fresh potting mix at the same depth as before. mix at the same depth as before



Varieties of ZZ Plant

The Zamia genus contains over 50 species, including the zamia palm. The majority of these species are found in tropical habitats, and many have palm-like characteristics. Among the Zamia species are:

  • Zamia integrifolia: This species is native to the southeastern United States and has dark green leaves that extend 4 feet from the trunk.
  • Zamia pseudoparasitica is an epiphytic plant, meaning it grows on the surface of other plants.
  • Zamia splendens is recognized for its glossy reddish-brown foliage and tolerance to shade.
  • Zamia decumbens: Rather than growing vertically, the trunks of this peculiar species run horizontally along the ground.

After going through the detailed information about the ZZ plant, the next step is to get this vibrant houseplant home. Head over to www.viverogarden.com and buy this exotic piece of nature at great prices!

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